July 1, 2016 – Dr. Whit Jones has been working at Bryan College for over 24 years and has taught a wide array of English classes from freshman to senior level courses. 4 years of teaching high school English and homeschooling his four children round out Dr. Jones’ evident desire to instill the passion for respecting and understanding literature to everyone he teaches. This unique blend of credentials is why he was approached by Apologia, a respected publisher of widely used textbooks for Christian homeschool students, to write a Literature textbook.
American Literature, the first published literature textbook by Apologia, is 844 pages full of vivid written imagery and deep analytical thought. One of the main reasons Dr. Jones wanted to publish this book, was to combat the idea that Christians are unable to learn anything from non-Christian authors.
“Good literature fleshes out biblical truth,” says Jones. “The nice thing about how literature fleshes out truth is it doesn’t just tell us the truth abstractly, it gives us a picture of it. It makes learning the truth fun because we are learning it through stories and characters that we are drawn into. It makes the connection between the head and the heart, because we not only understand the truth, but we feel it in our gut.…and are then motivated a lot of times to carry out that truth and live it.”
Designed for high schoolers in tenth or eleventh grade, American Literature organizes the study of great literary works by historical ages, enabling the reader to travel through time and easily analyze the changes throughout history. At the end of each literary work there is also a series of questions that Dr. Jones says apply the Socratic Method to help the student carefully analyze and interpret the work, ideally ending with the student examining the work’s meaning and statement about life, from a Christian perspective. Students are also given access to the correct answers for all of the questions at the end of each work, giving students the ability to compare their answers. Additionally, the book comes with a student notebook that is filled with chapter and semester tests as well as instructions on how to cultivate a deeper level of literary analysis.
American Literature can be purchased on the Apologia website.
Written by Drew Morrison, Marketing Communications Coordinator
Edited on July 5, 2016